Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Turnover Tuesdays - An iPad Idea for Your Staples eGift Card Collection

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Staples, Amazon

For those who are not familiar, I started a series four weeks ago called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I would like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

Week 1 - First attempt at reselling
Week 2 - My second straight fail
Week 3 - My iPad mini collection
Week 4 - Bed Bath and Beyond

Lately, there have been a few deals available to buy Staples eGift Cards at heavy discounts. There was the buy 3 $25 gift cards for $60, buy 3 $75 gift cards for $60 and right now you can still buy 2 $75 gift cards for $65.

Since the last deal is still available as of the writing of this post , let's show how I leveraged it for some relatively easy money (hopefully) and you can do even better.

The Item - iPad Air 16gb

I was able to buy 2 sets of eGift cards yesterday for a total of 6 $75 gift cards or $450 total.  You can only use 5 gift cards at a time on the Staples so I would only be able to use $375 in one order.  I looked a quick selling item that was around $375 and priced similarly to Amazon.

I chose an iPad Air 16gb in Space Gray.  This is not the newest version which is the iPad Air 2.  The price is currently $369 before taxes.  My taxes were $30.44 (NY) so the final price is $399.44

The same product costs about $400 on Amazon which would net you about $370-5 after FBA fees.

This isn't the greatest reselling idea, but it is close enough to breaking even that I think it is worth it as I will show

I paid $325 for $375 in gift cards (13.33% off) and I owed $24.44 on another card which I used my Chase Ink.

Total price paid is $349.44

Shopping Portal

Top Cashback gives 1.1% cashback on eBay purchases so the $375 in gift cards earned ~$4 from Top Cashback.

In addition, I used the United Shopping portal to buy the iPad.  They are currently offering 2 United miles per $1 spent at Staples.  The object was $369 before tax so I will likely earn 738 miles.

The real reason I used the United portal is to finish off their promotion.  This put me over the $700 of spending threshold to earn 2,500 bonus United miles or 1,500 more than I would have earned before this purchase so I really earned 2,238 United Miles for this purchase.

Credit Card Points

I used the American Express Platinum to buy the gift cards on eBay which earn 325 MR points.  This is only because I have been having some trouble with eBay purchases with my Chase INK and I need to spend the money anyway for the sign up bonus.  Otherwise I would have used the Chase INK which should earn 5x points per $1 spent or 1,625 Ultimate Rewards points.

I also earned 122 Ultimate Rewards points for the remaining $24.44 balance after the gift cards were used.

Loyalty Points

I am already a Staples Premier Rewards member so I receive 5% rewards towards a future purchase or $18.45 towards a future purchase.

In addition, I earned $7.50 in eBay Bucks from the eGift Card purchases.

Fulfillment By Amazon Fees

On this particular item, the fees are about $24.

Shipping fees are about $4.50 for one, cheaper per item if you ship more items in one package.

The item can be sold for about $400 on Amazon .  Your takehome is ~$370 after Amazon's fees.

Final Tally

$370 is better than the $350 by $20 or 5.7%.

Here is how the numbers work
Cash = $20
Credit Card Points = 325 MR and 122 UR points.  It is possible to earn almost 2,000 UR points instead
Loyalty points = $18.45 towards a future purchase at Staples, $7.50 in eBay Bucks towards a future purchase at eBay.
Portal Points = $4 and 2,238 United Miles

The takehome is $76.80 or 22% if you count MR points, UR points and United miles as 1 cent (they are most certainly worth more - check out Frequent Miler's Fair Trading Prices).  If you used a Chase Ink to buy the gift cards, you would have earned another $13 which would put your profit margin at around 25.5%.  Not too shabby!

Lessons to be Learned

There is always something good to buy at Staples when you can buy their gift cards at a cheap price.  When they are available, jump on them if you know how to resell!

Keep in mind that you may not be able to sell the item for $400.  If you only sell it for $370, the numbers are going to be much worse.  As always, your mileage may vary.